How to Avoid Home Buyer Nightmares
There’s plenty to scare you at Halloween time. And buying a home is one of the scariest things you’ll ever do, at least financially. Here’s how to avoid some typical home buyer nightmares.
Home Buyer Nightmare: The Inspection Reveals Big Problems
You’ve finally found the home of your dreams. But what if the inspection turns up dry rot or a major roof or foundation issue?
Most homes will need routine maintenance. But don’t let your fears take over. Much of what an inspector finds is for informational purposes only. After all, it’s the inspector’s job to point out every issue he sees in the house. And every problem doesn’t need to be repaired immediately. Ask the inspector to explain how bad the issue is and how long it can go before needing replacement or repair. If something does need immediate attention, go back to the seller and see if she will repair it or give you a credit to fix the problem after closing.
Home Buyer Nightmare: You’ll Lose Your Deposit
This is usually an unrealistic fear. It’s nearly impossible for buyers to lose their deposits. If you have an inspection, disclosure review or loan contingencies, work closely with your real estate agent to mark those timeframes. If you need to remove these contingencies in writing, plan to firm things up a day in advance. If you’re in negotiations around a contingency date, extend the contingency date to keep yourself under contract.
Home Buyer Nightmare: You’ll Lose the House
If you find the home of your dreams, you may have to move quickly. In competitive markets, many homes sell before the first open house to highly motivated buyers.
If you see a new listing hit the market, let your agent know right away. Try to make an appointment to see the home ASAP.
Also, find out immediately how the seller’s agent plans to handle offers. Sometimes, they take the first offer, especially if it’s a good one. More often than not, the seller and the agent will set a date to review all offers or ask for best and final offers by a certain date.
Home Buyer Nightmare: Your Agent Doesn’t Have Your Best Interests in Mind
You and your agent should be committed to each other. Sit down before you begin the process and speak to your agent, much like a job interview. And if you have any doubts about your agent’s abilities or motivations, get another agent.
Home Buyer Nightmare: You’ll Never Find a Home In Time
Many buyers face an expiring lease or a school application deadline. If you’re three months out from a deadline and haven’t found a house yet, take the pressure off by putting an alternate plan in place.
Home buying is an expensive and complicated transaction that shouldn’t be rushed. It’s much easier and safer to get another rental, find a temporary address, or try some out-of-the-box idea. It may be inconvenient in the short-term, but your goal is to think about what’s best in the long-term.
If something scares you about a home, the buying process, or a third-party involved in the sale, voice your concerns. Listen to your voice of reason, and stick with your gut.